Thursday, January 10, 2002
Steamboat Springs A 52-year-old Oak Creek man faces felony charges for allegedly soliciting sex from a teen-age girl and providing alcohol to minors.
The man, who also faces a misdemeanor sexual assault charge, was arrested at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at his home after a teenage girl came forward to police Tuesday.
The man appeared in Routt County Court Thursday. Judge James Garrecht set the man's bail at $20,000.
Deputy District Attorney David Moffat urged Garrecht to set the man's bond at $50,000.
"We believe there are more victims involved," Moffat said. "He has been a predator in the community."
The man said he was sleeping when he was arrested and described the allegations as "an attack on his character."
"This is the first that I have heard of any of these problems," the man said in court. "This is all news to me. I don't know why they are making these allegations. They are false."
Oak Creek Police Chief Tom Ling said his agency began investigating the man after a teenage girl reported she was sexually assaulted while visiting his home Saturday.
The girl alleged to police that while she was at the man's home he touched her inappropriately and offered her money for sex, Ling said.
The girl also alleged the man has been providing alcohol and marijuana to local kids, Ling said.
Moffat has charged the man with soliciting sex from a child, a class three felony, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class four felony, and third-degree sexual assault, a class one misdemeanor.
The man, who asked that he be released on his own personal recognizance, requested a preliminary hearing be conducted within 30 days.
Because the man requested the hearing, Moffat said he can't offer a plea agreement with less serious charges.
If convicted of the soliciting charge, the man could face four to 12 years in prison and a fine of $750,000.
The contributing charge carries a prison sentence between two and six years and a $500,000 fine.
The sexual assault is punishable by two years in the Routt County Jail and a $5,000 fine.
The man's next court appearance is set for 1 p.m. Jan. 16.
Ling said this type of incident is why he is seeking a grant that would bring Boys and Girls Club activities to South Routt County.
"This is something that needs to be done," Ling said. "Outside of the ice rink, there are not enough things for kids to do here."
Ling said he expects to finish the grant application by the deadline of Jan. 18.